District of Utah | COVID-19 Fraudsters Charged in Utah for Allegedly Manufacturing, Selling and Distributing at least 120,000 Counterfeit COVID-19 Vaccination Cards

Salt Lake Town, Utah – A federal grand jury in Utah returned an indictment charging a Utah and South Carolina male for operating a scheme to defraud the United States and the Centers for Disease Command and Prevention (CDC) by obstructing the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination application. 

According to court files, Nicholas Frank Sciotto, 32, of Salt Lake Town, Utah, and Kyle Blake Burbage, 32, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, produced, marketed, and dispersed at the very least 120,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination history playing cards throughout the place between March 2021 via September 2021. Sciotto, a former resident of Weber County, Utah, began and operated an on line enterprise where he started to fraudulently manufacture and market the COVID-19 vaccination document cards. As alleged in the indictment, most of Sciotto’s potential buyers lived in New York wherever they have been topic to far more stringent COVID-19 vaccine constraints. Sciotto’s co-conspirator, Burbage, obtained counterfeit vaccination file cards from Sciotto and then resold some of the counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination file cards and dispersed them in South Carolina. By collectively manufacturing, promoting, and distributing countless numbers of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination report cards to other individuals for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the defendants drastically undermined the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other governmental wellness-and-basic safety restrictions and protocols. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Sciotto mostly sold the counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards on the internet by Facebook and charged somewhere around $10 just about every, for orders of 10 or more playing cards, and $7.50 each, for orders of 100 or a lot more cards. 

The case is section of a nationwide coordinated legislation enforcement action by the Division of Justice to fight health and fitness care fraud connected to COVID-19. In complete, DOJ declared prison rates in opposition to 18 defendants in 9 federal districts across the United States. These scenarios allegedly resulted in about $490 million in COVID-19 connected fake billings to federal packages and theft from federally-funded pandemic plans. See national DOJ launch right here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-office-announces-nationwide-coordinated-law-enforcement-motion-beat-covid-19

Sciotto and Burbage are billed with conspiracy to defraud the United States. The defendants are scheduled for their initial court docket appearances April 20, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in courtroom 8.4 prior to a U.S. Magistrate Choose at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah.

U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah created the announcement.

The circumstance is staying investigated by the Business office of Inspector General, U.S. Section of Wellbeing and Human Expert services (HHS-OIG), and FBI Salt Lake Metropolis Subject Office environment.

Assistant U.S. Lawyer, Todd Bouton, of the District of Utah is prosecuting the scenario. 

On Might 17, 2021, the Legal professional Typical founded the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Activity Force to marshal the means of the Section of Justice in partnership with companies across federal government to enhance initiatives to fight and protect against pandemic-connected fraud. The Endeavor Pressure bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and intercontinental felony actors and helps organizations tasked with administering relief programs to stop fraud by augmenting and incorporating current coordination mechanisms, pinpointing methods and tactics to uncover fraudulent actors and their strategies, and sharing and harnessing facts and insights attained from prior enforcement attempts. For extra information and facts on the department’s reaction to the pandemic, make sure you pay a visit to https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus and https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus/combatingfraud.

Anyone with data about allegations of tried fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s Countrywide Heart for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline via the NCDF World-wide-web Complaint Type.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until verified guilty outside of a realistic doubt in a courtroom of law.